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DMR - How it works and how to get set up

And why you shouldn’t import too many repeaters to your codeplug like I did! I have made an accompanying video on YouTube at Setting up DMR takes some patience but once you access the repeaters and talk groups you will be rewarded with many QSOs from all over the world in glorious digital quality. DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is a great transmission/reception mode, it is clear audio in a resilient wrapper that can withstand a lot of QRM - interference and fading. It is pretty much either working, or not with no real distortion. It has been developed due to the availability of cheap micro processors which can process audio into digital encoding and manage complex transmission systems. The DMR amateur radio system allows people to talk one to one or through a repeater in either simplex mode (same TX and RX frequencies) or duplex mode. You can probably access many DMR repeaters in your surrounding area and they provide access to hundreds of talk groups. Now mode

Getting started with the Anytone AT-D878UVII Super, making a codeplug

I passed my Foundation Amateur Radio Exam and have been using the Baofeng UV-S9 for over a couple of months (the first month just listening). I decided it was time for a better radio as a lot of activity seems to be on digital channels and links like Echolink, All Star etc. and the Baofeng scan facility is limited to either all channels, or all frequencies in one waveband. So I pre-ordered the Anytone AT-D878UVII Super as this is the only budget radio that seems to have enough memory to download the entire DMR contact list which now exceed 200,000 registred users.  My new Anytone AT-D878UVII Super The Anytone can hold upto 500,000 so it should be good for a few years. When programming a radio like this people refer to a codeplug, it is not a physical plug, rather it is data that is specific to your radio's frequencies, repeater channels, DMR contacts and personal settings. It will also contain your DMR Id so beware of exporting the data plug to other people without first removing

My Baofeng UV-S9 experience in three months

I have had my Baofeng UV-S9 for about three months and while initially happy with it I have come to some conclusions    1- it no longer transmits in UHF or will let you select UHV frequencies manually 2- the front end overloads and renders the whole radio deaf as soon as you go up a hill or fir a better or mobile antenna  3- certain frequencies are really poor reception making contacts almost impossible. e.g. I contacted a guy on 2m, but when we changed channel neither of us could hear each other 5 miles (8Km) away! We where both on the same hill so line of sight really.  4- The FM radio no longer works  I have 2 Nagoya aerials, one whip and one mobile so it's not them. You get what you pay for, better save up for a better brand like Anytone, Retevis, Ailunce of Yaesu, Icom etc. The earpiece and cable are very poor qaulity and the charge base is really hard to engage. The instructions are garbage and better downloaded from Radioddity UV5-RX3. Conclusion, not reliable or gr

The Trident multi Band aerial for scanners and sdr reception and transmitting

I wanted a Discone type aerial, they look great! Then I read some reviews and people said that a dual band dipole worked better. I also wanted to be able to use it for different bands. So on YouTube I found the best dual band aerial design I could. Then I found this 2M ground plane aerial/antenna . why not combine elements of both? So why would this work? Well, when an antenna or aerial is resonant it's impedance falls to around 50 Ohms. When it is outside resonance the impedance rises to several thousand Ohms and becomes irrelavent as it reduces the signal. So when you are on 2M the other tripod elements are ignored and you can achive good power transfer and gain. The same is true for each other band. I have seen this on other aerial designs too. It does work I promise you! Antenna vs aerial, what is the difference?  An aerial is to receive radio signals only, there are other design considerations but an Antenna has to cope with high voltages and heat. An antenna is designed to

Welcome to TekMaker

TekMaker is a channel designed to help people of all ages and abilities to learn about and build projects for Computers, Electronics and now Amateur Radio too. Having witnessed many poor quality and badly informed channels I decided I could do better. I previously worked in Electronics for 25+ years including design work and been involved in computer servicing, networking and programming for over 20 years. I hope to produce projects and videos and instructions that are simple enough for any age or ability. That said some projects are main voltage powered and should be built with extreme caution and supervision. You do this at your own risk! Rather than just making projects to use once and then put on the shelf I will endeavour to make projects that will connect or work together and for useful things if you want to set up an electronics or single board computer lab at home. All images, videos and content are copyright, YouTube, (myself Ralph Beardmore or as credited and mus

RGB Photoflood - An Arduino Project

RGB LED Photoflood Links to code and video at the bottom of this article So, I was looking at the price of photo floods for photography and video production and baulking at the prices. I had previously used a battery powered one with 160 LEDs that cost around 20 GBP which was ok for basic photography lighting fill-in, that is to supplement room lighting. But for video you really need something more powerful. So my criteria was  Must be mains powered Must be RGB programmable for effects Optional - can display scrolling messages Must stand prolonged usage Cheap enough to make several to provide multiple light sources, possible with differing tints. Easy to construct and copy. Common sense and available components said it should be Arduino based because I have a drawer full (or did) There are many variants as cheap as 3 GBP + postage and packing in multiple pack purchase They are easy to program and have simple power needs, i.e. 5 volts the same as WS2812 LEDs I have seen WS2812 256 LED p

Introduction to Amateur Radio

So I recently decided, like many others during lockdown to get my Amatuer Radio Foundation license, which is the first of three possible levels. Each subsequent level allows you to transmit on more frequencies and with more power. It also allows you to use more types of transmission such as personal hot spots and build your own equipment. There is plenty of information online on how to pass your tests and I include some links to those resources below. Be sure to search for amatuer radio clubs in your area. Even with current restrictions you can get support and participate in Zoom or similar meetings or listen on the airwaves. Many people are scared to take an exam. The online training and books will give you all the information that you need to pass. The exams are multiple choice with 4 answers and you will need some basic maths skills. You can use a calculator in the exams and will need a basic 4 function one for the Foundation, and a £10 scientific one for the other two levels. But